Regarding Patrick McGinley
This month sees the publication of perhaps the most aptly titled book of the year, COLD SPRING, by Patrick McGinley. Patrick is a huge favourite of ours here in New Island. We thought it might be nice to share with you some of our thoughts as to why that’s the case. In-house editor Justin Corfield lays out below why he in particular likes Patrick’s work so very much:Truman Capote said that the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but rather the inner music that words can make. Patrick McGinley’s writing is a case in point: his prose always seems to flow effortlessly, weaving together thoughts, images and feelings, generally about a world, and a way of life, that is passing into memory. He forms phrases with such consummate skill that it is simply a pleasure to read his words for their own sake. It is quite an art to be able to arrange words into an order that is pleasing to the soul, yet it seems to come to McGinley effortlessly.
This is how he begins That Unearthly Valley, his memoir about his childhood, which he spent growing up in Glencolmcille:
The Donegal glen in which I first opened my eyes was a small, self-contained world, far removed from the great events and conflicts that shaped Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. My people had lived in the glen for generations, eking out a living on a small farm and fishing lobsters during the summer season. It was a life of severely limited prospects. The most a family man could hope for was to keep himself, his wife and children in food and clothing, and perhaps enjoy a pipe of tobacco when the day’s work was done. The business of making ends meet was so demanding that few people had the time or inclination to cultivate an